A friend recently made this cake for us - brilliant recipe - I had to pass it on to you all...plus it works every time!
The spicy aromatic flavours combined with the almonds make this a delicious, moist cake that lasts for quite a few days. If you want a gluten-free option, simply replace the semolina with fine polenta
250 g ground almonds
175 g fine semolina / polenta
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp aniseed ( couldn't get this and it tasted exactly the same! )
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nigella seeds ( poppy seeds work well too )
300 g butter
200 g sugar
icing sugar to sprinkle
handful of broken pistachios, to sprinkle ( optional )
SUGAR SYRUP ( optional )
80 g sugar
juice of 1 lemon
80 ml water
Heat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas mark 3 and line a round, 23cm springform tin with baking paper.
Mix the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar together until it is pale and fluffy. A food processor works perfectly well for this. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well. If it starts to curdle or looks too runny, simply add a spoonful of the dry ingredients.
Fold in the dry ingredients, then pour the mixture into the tin, level with a spatula and bake for around 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
While the cake is in the oven, make the sugar syrup. Add the sugar, lemon juice and water to a pan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. The longer you simmer it for, the thicker the syrup will become. 10 minutes should be about right.
Take the cake out of the oven and insert a skewer around the edges, then, while still warm, pour the syrup all over so that it seeps into the cake itself. Leave to cool, then remove from tin, sprinkle with icing sugar and pistachios, and serve.